How did the world like 'Friends: the Reunion'?
Brett White - Decider
Kelly Lawler - USA Today
James Poniewozik - The New York Times
No references to the show's flaws
James Corden avoids tough questions
Caroline Framke - Variety
Jen Chaney - Vulture
Amy Amatangelo - Paste Magazine
Kristen Baldwin - Entertainment Weekly
Gwen Ihnat - AV Club
Ben Travers - IndieWire
Richard Roeper - Chicago Sun Times
Brian Tallerico - Rogereberet.com
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How did the world like 'Friends: the Reunion'?

The long anticipated premiere of 'Friends: The Reunion', on May 27, 2021, was generally a success with the public and the critics. Obviously, some expected more, but overall the reactions to the groups' get-together were positive.

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"Do we need this?"

It had been 17 years since the last 'Friends' episode, and even the biggest fan had been a little weary of the idea of a reunion. Brett White from 'Decider' was one of them:
"A Friends reunion begs so many questions, like 'Do we need this?' and 'Is this just a shameless ploy to sell HBO Max subscriptions?'"

2021, the year of the long-awaited 'Friends' reunion
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"A ploy to sell subscriptions?"

"I will fully admit that even I, someone who still believes that Friends' first season is an objectively perfect sitcom season, rolled my eyes every time news hit of this reunion’s countless delays," White said.

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Brett White - Decider

"I was wrong," he continues. "'Friends: the Reunion' completely redefines how we should view sitcom reunions moving forward, and it sets the bar so high that I truly don’t know if any other get together can ever top it."

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Kelly Lawler - USA Today

"The 'Friends' reunion is everything fans hoped it would be... It was able to re-create the magic of "Friends" without pretending that 17 years haven't passed since 'Friends' left NBC."

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James Poniewozik - The New York Times

"The special is better when it gets out of the cast’s way and shows us what drew us to them... If the whole affair feels a touch less special, it’s because of a glut in the nostalgia market."

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No references to the show's flaws

James Poniewozik also indicated that the show didn't go into the stickier aspects of Friends on and off-screen.
"There’s plenty you won’t hear about: the contentious contract negotiations; criticisms of the show for casting mainly white actors; personal or health issues."

 

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James Corden avoids tough questions

"When an audience member asks what the actors disliked about making the show, [host James] Corden jokingly chides, 'Way to keep it positive!'" Poniewozik added.

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Caroline Framke - Variety

The show "isn’t trying to be revealing," Variety's Caroline Framke said. "At least not about anything that thorny or unpleasant. It’s here to entertain, and to remind fans why they love the show (and that it’s now available to stream only on HBO Max)."

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Jen Chaney - Vulture

"This Central Perk homecoming gives everyone the space to revel in their adoration of one of the most successful sitcoms ever made without tacking on any new story or codas that would alter its place in the culture."

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Amy Amatangelo - Paste Magazine

Opinions were divided. One the one hand: "It’s lovely to spend 104 minutes with the gang again. Could we be any happier?"

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Kristen Baldwin - Entertainment Weekly

One the other hand, Entertainment Weekly reviewer Kristen Baldwin said that the special "squeezes moments of reunion magic into a lot of silly filler."

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Gwen Ihnat - AV Club

“For Die-Hard Fans Only," Gwen Ihnat of AV Club wrote. "The problem is, for such a well-loved (and well-examined) series, there is very little new info here."

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Ben Travers - IndieWire

"For anyone under its spell, the magic of 'Friends' was how you always felt like the seventh person in the room. In the reunion, you're just one of millions."

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Richard Roeper - Chicago Sun Times

“Unscripted and uneven but still satisfying and warm-hearted... Like all reunions, the best part is simply getting everyone back in the same room for the first time in far too long."

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Brian Tallerico - Rogereberet.com

It has "the energy of an actual high school reunion... There’s something nice about leaving the 'Friends' gang where they were on that final day almost 20 years ago."

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